Maccabi Haifa will face Panathinaikos in a crucial Europa League Group F match on Thursday. Both teams are looking for their first win of the group stage, after losing their opening matches to Rennes and Villarreal respectively.
Maccabi Haifa know they can ill-afford another defeat as they continue their quest to reach the knock-out stages of a European competition for the first time since 2006/07. The Israeli club were hammered 3-0 by Rennes in their opening UEL group game, leaving them bottom of Group F after the first round of fixtures.
The good news for the Greens is they are in good form at home, going unbeaten in a dozen fixtures across all competitions (W10, D2). That form extends to this competition too, with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar the only away team to register a UEL victory at the Sammy Ofer Stadium since 2011 (W8, D2, L1).
Panathinaikos will be looking to end Maccabi Haifa’s unbeaten home record in the UEL. The Greek club are in good form themselves, having lost just three of their last 14 matches on the road (W9, D2).
Panathinaikos have a good chance of winning this match. They have a good squad and they are in good form. However, Maccabi Haifa are a good team too and they will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Rennes.
The key battle in this match could be between Maccabi Haifa striker Frantzdy Pierrot and Panathinaikos forward Bernard. Pierrot is on a remarkable run of going unbeaten in the last 42 matches in which he has netted (W36, D6). Bernard is also a dangerous striker and he will be looking to out-score Pierrot.
There have been 3+ goals in five of Panathinaikos’ six competitive away games this season. This suggests that we could be in for a thrilling encounter on Thursday.
This is a tough match to predict, as both teams are in good form. However, I think Panathinaikos have a slight edge. I predict a 2-1 victory for Panathinaikos. Read Something Similar